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Game Recap: Astros’ Offense Sputters Again at Home. D-Backs 4-2

Rally killing double plays the main difference. Astros now only 2.5 games ahead of A’s in AL West.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The past is prologue*.

This game finished for the Astros as it began, as too many games have played out all year, with rally crushing double plays. The Astros are league leaders in this dubious category.

After the Diamondbacks had touched Dallas Keuchel for two runs in the top of the first, the Astros came back strong on D-backs starter Robbie Ray, getting four straight base runners and a run before getting even one out.

With the bases loaded, Carlos Correa hit a hard grounder to short, resulting in a run but two outs. Although it tied the score, it also crushed the rally, and would create the last run scored by the Astros in the game. One could sense at the time that that play might be the decisive play of the game, and it was.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the tying runs on first and second and no outs, Josh Reddick hit into a double play, crushing another rally until the next batter, J. D. Davis would meekly ground out to end the game. As it was in the beginning, so it was at the end.

Past is prologue.

The Astros missed other opportunities. Like in the seventh, when Tyler White led off with a double, and was moved to third on a Marwin Gonzalez ground out. But pinch hitter and contact hitter Tony Kemp proceeded to strike out, and with runners on the corners, George Springer also went down on strikes, in his case looking.

For the night the Astros were 1-9 with runners in scoring position, but that is to be expected when your team gets six walks, but only five hits. They failed to score for three innings on a bullpen that coming into this game had a 5.54 ERA for the last thirty days.

After a rocky first inning Astros starter Dallas Keuchel reasserted control, going six innings without allowing any more runs than the two he surrendered in the first.

The Diamondbacks, who had double the hit production of the Astros, took the lead in the eighth with a little luck against Hector Rondon. After allowing a legitimate double to Nick Ahmed, with two outs Jon Jay hit a weak jam shot over the first baseman’s head that wound up a triple, scoring Ahmed. Ahmed would score on a Texas League single just out of the reach of the diving George Springer.

Springer would leave the game although the exact extent of his injury is not known at this time.

The Astros home woes continue. At home the Astros are 18th in the league in OPS at .726. Away they hit .790, just .006 behind the Oakland A’s. If it is any consolation, the A’s hit even worse than the Astros at home.

Here’s a strange play by Josh Reddick.

Tomorrow the Astros send Charlie Morton to face Zach Godley.

Game time is 6:10 PM CDT

Box Score and videos here.

*Apologies to Shakespeare. I know that’s not how he used the famous line.